So you’ve bought your first home! Congrats! Now what?! Here are some things you might want to purchase that can help you save.
First things first, Re-key or change all your door locks. If the previous owners were like most people, neighbors, friends, sitters, etc., might have a set of keys to YOUR new house. Even when purchasing a new construction, builders give out keys to contractors. It’s also smart to change the locks and/or install deadbolts.
TIP: Easiest solutions is remove locks and take them to your local hardware store to re-key. You can buy all new locks but that tends to be expensive. Also, you could call a locksmith to change the locks for you.
What’s next? You’ve just moved from an apartment to a home, what’s one thing you didn’t have at your apartment? A Lawnmower. Unless you plan to hire a gardener or your yard is filled with rocks, you will need to buy a lawnmower.
TIP: Consumer Reports publishes reviews that are extremely helpful when comparing brands and will suggest a “Best Buy” in lawnmowers for you. You can also search on Craigslist or in your local newspaper for used lawnmowers.
What good is a lawnmower without Garden Supplies? Every home needs a garden hose. You can buy those at a low price, plus find adjustable sprayer heads or lawn sprinklers at Target or in the gardening department at The Home Depot. Don’t forget about weed-whackers, trowels, shovels, rakes or hoes.
TIP: A push broom comes in handy for sweeping your garage floor, plus the handle unscrews so you can use it as an extension pole with a wall sander. Consider a watering can, and wheelbarrow or wagon.
What happens when you need to hang pictures? Or not sure if your sofa will fit on the wall beside the fireplace? Make yourself a Toolbox! Every home needs a well-stocked tool box. Here are some of the essentials: Hammers (Ball and Claw), Screw drivers (Flat head and Phillips), Hacksaw, Pliers, Plumber’s wrench, Basin wrench, Small drill and drill bits, nail driver, staple gun and tape measure.
TIP: Men, if you don’t want to have any of your tools out of place, consider purchasing a Ladies’ tool box so you don’t have to share with the lady of the house.
What about the moving scuffs on the wall? Stock up on: Paint brushes (1” to 4”), Paint Scraper and steel brush, 5 Gal Container to mix paint, Paint Screen, Rollers and Sleeves, Drop Cloths and Sandpaper.
Now, you’re all moved in. When’s the next party? Where’s everyone sitting? Lawn chairs, patio furniture and umbrella, and a barbecue grill are among the starter items most people put out back.
TIP: A nice starter grill is a Weber charcoal grill, and it’s very inexpensive.
What about all the open windows? Window Coverings. You can choose from blinds, drapes, Roman shades, scarves, toppers, curtains, honeycombs, sheers or shutters.
TIP: If your budget is stretched too thin, check out self-adhesive paper blinds with clips. These attach by peeling off the adhesive covering and sticking the top of the blind to the underside at the top of your window. They are pleated, so you can fold them up and clip them when you want to open the blinds. They cost less than $5, and serve as a good temporary solution.
But WAIT! There’s no Appliances!
Many new homes are equipped with new appliances, but when buying an older home, depending on where you live, it might be customary for the seller to take the appliances.
At the very least, you will need a: Cooktop / Range, Refrigerator, Washer & Dryer
TIP: If new is out of your price range, then consider buying used appliances, which will save you about 75% of the cost new.
Now that you can paint your rooms any color you choose, you might also find a need to buy new towels for the bathroom. Newly painted walls call attention to older, worn items, and your towels might be better suited for washing the car than hanging in a fresh, new bathroom. Consider also floor mats for the bath or area rugs for your larger rooms.
TIP: If you need new duvet covers, sheets or bedspreads, you can often find good bargains at places like Linen-n-Things or Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Maybe your previous lease prevented you from owning a dog or cat, but now that you own your home, you can adopt a pet! Some cities have restrictions on the number of four- and two-legged critters you can have, so be sure to check with your local authorities. Also, ask if you need a city license for your dog or cat.
TIP: Visit your local SPCA or City Animal Control to find homeless pets to adopt or learn more about adoption at the A.S.P.C.A.. Don’t buy pets from a pet store because many disreputable pet stores knowingly or unknowingly buy their inventory from a puppy mill. Some pet stores sell pets carrying a contagious and deadly virus, because the animals came from unreliable breeders who did not vaccinate. Thoroughly investigate a breeder before you fall in love with a purebred. On the other hand, if you adopt from a shelter, your pet will be vaccinated and spayed / neutered. Plus, you will be saving a pet’s life, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to add a loving companion to your new home.
Have fun on this new adventure of owning a home! Now Go Shop Savvy!